I graduated in May of this year (2015) Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Art in graphic design, and right now, 5 months later, my primary source of income is... minimum wage at Taco Bell. So what do I have to show for my coveted degree? Well, let me tell you...
I have gained several freelance clients over these past few months, including several promotional materials businesses and book publishing companies. I have designed dozens of T-shirts, scores of layouts for promotional items (think hats, mugs, key rings, etc. and so forth), and have now officially completed my third book cover (which the author absolutely LOVES).
While Taco Bell is saving my bacon financially in terms of at least one steady income, it's juuuust barely enough to cover my bills (even with the freelance income), so I recently attempted to get a second job, this one at a printing company, largely as a customer service rep and filing clerk, hoping that at least being near design on a more regular basis would make me happy, even if I was only able to watch someone else do it.
Boy lemme tell ya... I was M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E! I'm much happier at Taco Bell, being nowhere near design, than I am looking at it from a few feet away and being unable to touch it.
So while that second job didn't last very long (the boss loved me and loved my work ethic, but could tell I was miserable and let me go for my own good, which I agreed with), it taught me an incredibly important lesson: I either want to be a designer, or nothing.
So with all of this information, what am I doing? I'm trying even harder than I already was, finding clients, searching for ideas, and working my butt off at the Bell so I can make sure any extra hours come my way. I've learned more about myself in the last five months, I feel, than in the entire last five years. I know what I want. I know I can do it. And most importantly, I know that when the right full-time job comes, I will be the best d*** designer that company has ever hired!